'Pork barrel scam may need a political solution'

Posted at 04/27/2014 2:00 AM | Updated as of 04/27/2014 2:00 AM

MANILA – A political analyst on Saturday described the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam as a problem that may end up requiring a “political solution” rather than a judicial one.

“‘Yung kaso na ito, highly politicized. Kahit ano sabihin mo, kahit suspetsa, kahit magwa-warning ka pa, maraming usapang nangyayari sa likod nito, sa ilalim, sa ibaba, sa likod, whatever. Walang boundary itong kaso na ito. Bawat ikot, may dinadamay, may mga pangalang lumilitaw. So malaki ang possibility na political solution ang gagamitin,” analyst Ramon Casiple told DZMM’s Pasada Sais Trenta on Saturday.

Asked what kind of political solution he is referring to, Casiple said: “Halimbawa, damay-damay lahat, baka bumagsak ang gobyerno. Kaysa bumagsak ang gobyerno, ‘deal’ na lang.”

Meanwhile, Atty. Stephen Cascolan, a lawyer of some of the pork barrel scam whistleblowers, said they already anticipated that alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Napoles would speak up about the anomaly.

“Matagal na po naming inaasahan, kasi lagi namin naririnig from within the DOJ [Department of Justice], na laging napapag-usapan na willing to cooperate,” he said.

Cascolan said this was sometime after the Senate hearing where Napoles appeared but opted to invoke her right against self-incrimination.

In light of the turn of events, Cascolan said he asked his clients if they will be able to confirm the contents of Napoles’ sworn statement, which has yet to be made public.

“Sabi nila, wala naman except yung ilang documentary evidence na wala silang personal knowledge,” he said.

Asked if there are other documents that would prove the involvement of lawmakers, Cascolan said: “Dalawang points lang yung tinitingnan natin, kaya may advantage din kung titingnan natin yung sinasabi nya [Napoles] e. What if yung lawmaker, si Janet lang ang pwedeng mag-identify? Tapos meron naman tayong COA report showing all the anomalies. So what if ma-connect mo yung dalawang dots, there could be another case of probable cause for plunder.”

“Hindi sufficient ang sinabi nya lang,” he said.

'MAYHEM OKAY AS LONG AS IT'S THE TRUTH'

Scrap Pork Network member Atty. Michelle Estor said the so-called Napoles list should be produced at the soonest possible time.

“Dapat pong ilabas ang listahan sa lalong madaling panahon. Kahit anong impormasyon o ebidensya na meron tungkol dito sa katiwaliang ito, sa lahat ng involved, nag-participate, dapat ilabas yun. Karapatan ng publiko na malaman yun,” she said.

Estror said although she understands De Lima’s position that the list may cause mayhem if publicized, Estor said “nothing ever really goes wrong when you go with the truth.”

“So kung totoo naman ang ilalabas nya, hindi sanitized, hindi nilinis, hindi in-edit, walang revisions, kailangan nang malaman yan e. Hindi magkakaroon ng kredibilidad ang kahit sino sa kanila kung mananatiling nakatago ito,” she said.

Estor said the list may be “unfair” to those who are not really involved, but added that “history will judge them.”

“The political career can be sacrificed for the short term. Alam din natin na short term memory din lang ang karamihan sa mga botante natin, so may pag-asa naman silang linisin ang pangalan nila sakaling nagkamali ng pagkakabanggit, pagkakasabwat sa kanila. Pero mas importante dito is managot yung mga talagang nagkasala. So ano ba uunahin natin, yung political career na iniitindi nila, or yung may managot?,” she said.

Casiple, Said: “May promise ito na pag lumitaw yung mga pangalan, ang scenario mo dyan mula sa simpleng i-paper over na lang yan, hanggang sa hindi na mahawakan ng lahat at sumabog yung political situation. Anything goes yan.”

“Dapat bantayan dito, the moment na may lumitaw na mga pangalan dyan, titimbangin mo ngayon kung ano impact ng paglitaw ng ganung pangalan,” he added.